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 Post subject: Re: Linela Susan Fryar
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:33 am 
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Linela began keeping a journal. She had been unable to hold her tongue twice now. Her current situation... The likely end of her life and the damnation of her soul was looming. She wanted a record of it all. All her investigations and thoughts on it. She felt certain that her defense of Bran would invite wrath any day.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When Bran told me of the horrible things the Radiant Heart had done... Of Kald especially, I took it for a grain of salt. Sure, I wanted to believe him... We were becoming friends, but I knew better than to trust one man's witness. Then I met Arkaine.

On the beach by Candlekeep Arkaine and Bran spoke. Bran seemed reluctant and first to give the information Arkaine asked for. Eventaully, Bran gave it, and cast many wards upon Arkaine when the half-orc proclaimed that there would be justice.

I have few accounts of where Arkaine took it from there... Given the after events... I can only assume he took things very... Very far...

Before the incident on the Tradeway, right outside of the Friendly Arm, I began to ask around. I began to accumulate very different accounts of what happened with the man named "Serb". The perception of events seemed to be almost wholly different depending on who you spoke to. Events were jumbled at out of order. As best I could tell... Bran was telling the truth of how much was known to him. But that does not make it the actual truth.

A person's perception becomes their reality. I thought on gentle ways to nudge people toward the truth, not just because I think that seeing yourself and others in a truthful light is important, but because all these people on the Coast... They want to kill each other. Now that Bran is speaking his truth and stirring things up. He is an apt target for their wrath.

He was wrong though. His truth does not match the real truth so far as I can see it. I used my invisibility spells to listen to people. Sometimes I merely walked slowly by a fire or started a conversation and let other people talk. I collected stories that said Arkaine lost his mind, attacking his own men. Some that a woman name Erza betrayed the Radiant Heart and brought in Serb, with Kald and with offer of unlawful sanctuary after he tortured a woman named Sharra. I have searched for this woman to get her account to no avail.

Serb apparently dated the Guide of Candlekeep, Alexandra? Wow... That woman had shown very little taste in men since as well. I have an entire file of asking around on her next engagement; Cosimo... But that is for another time and needs more investigation. Calad, her current man seems extremely gruff, but perhaps it is an act?

I hadn't gotten at most of the truth yet when Bran, then Corvin, encountered Kald. Kald was entrenched with 5 or so friends, including Thedran, outside and to the left of the gate of the Friendly Arm. I still do not know why the Guards did not react to the fighting. Piecing together a coherant story from those events was harder still. I did find a halfling, who claimed to speak to two direct witnesses. I also found a Tiefling who hid in the shadows, witnessed the events and eventually dug up Bran. She didn't tell me she had done it... But Bran did.

I hung around the fires and collected bits of Kald's, and Rania's account. As I merely passed behind them and got only pieces, so I don't have their full account. I will say I have heard Rania speak of it three times now and her witness has changed over time. In Sembia, we have studied this. A witness changes over time as co-witnesses speak to each other. They convince each other of their own perceptions of the truth, creating often a whole new truth that is no nearer the truth than one person's perception to begin with. That is why it is important to speak to witnesses alone and immediately after an event. I doubt much good will come of taking a full account from them now. I doubt they would give it if I asked.

I spoke to a man I trust about the direct witness of one of his students, who was very upset by what she saw. Emotion can be clouding too, but I will say that she has never stopped speaking of what she saw. I have heard her account from multiple sources now. Huego has spoken to her recently directly as well, and her account has not changed over time, which is actually abnormal. It does show great dedication to telling it exactly as she saw it. I wish I could speak to her directly.

From these accounts, this is the best that I can piece together...

Corvin was walking toward the arm and encountered Kald and his band of friends. Already somewhat upset and talking about Arkaine and his outbursts at the Chapterhouse, Thedran and Kald made a some passing harassing comments to Bran. Bran, who believed them evil and bloodthirsty and unrighteous, drew his blade.

Drawing a blade is as much a declaration of the desire to fight as any words. He called Kald and Thedran more cutting things, he pointed his blade at Kald. He told Kald that Kald was a coward, still hiding behind groups of thugs and stronger men. Kald ushered the group aside and said he would "handle this".

Bran was wrong in his perception of the events and Kald's accountability on Serb. I can find little to refute Bran's description of Thedran as a thug however... I did find an account of Thedran pulling the members of the Northern Watch from a watery grave after they were attacked by drow, so he may require further investigation. Kald is certainly self-righteous... But I do not believe him to be a fallen paladin. Regardless, Bran was wrong to draw his blade and unwise to sling insults at a mob. You should not give a group of emotionally elevated people an excuse to attack you. He should have run or teleported away. He had to have known he was gravely outnumbered.

Kald challenged Bran to single combat. Bran used only natural shamanistic spells to fight him. He unintentionally tripped multiple members of Kald's group with the spell "Whirlpool". I think most people understand the spell has a wide area of effect and no one was actually hurt by it.
The fight was intense, accounts vary, but until recently no one claimed he used any ill tactics in his fight with Kald. Nor did Kald attempt any ill tactics or ask for aid. It was an honorable duel.

Recently accounts have been changing. This is a function of time and of people's desire to be right and justified. I can only trust the accounts I collected immediately after at this point.

The accounts of what happened next vary. I have heard from one person that Bran insulted and threatened Thedran, but most witnesses seem to agree that was before the challenge of single combat. Most witness accounts are that Kald was beaten but left alive by Bran, but as Bran began to move along, Thedran jumped him.

This, seems to be widely accepted as a violation of the code of honor in single combat. I would not condemn Kald for the actions of his over zealous friend except that he was overheard many times after saying that what Thedran did was okay because Bran had no honor and thus no right to expect the rules of single combat to apply. He seemed to imply that is was okay to lie to Bran, to dishonor the codes of conduct because of who Bran was.

It still twists my stomach. Your word does not have value because of who you keep it to. Your word has value because you keep it.

The battle with Thedran did not go as well for Bran. He was already exhausted from his fight with Kald, and most of his offensive spells were spent. Bran is, by his own admission, a fallen shaman. He left that note on the Halls of Inner Light for all the world to see... Signed a fallen shaman... As such he does know the fell spell, Vampiric Feast.

Already exhausted, bleeding, and without other places to turn. Bran used the last resort left him and called upon the awful necromantic spell... It did not save him, however, and gave the angry mob all they needed to justify themselves. Bran left Kald breathing... Thedran was not so kind.

They also spoke of him using blood magic and finding several vials of blood on him. It takes a good deal of questioning to get at the truth that all the blood on him was animal blood, not human. It is no less macabre however, for a person that may not understand his rituals to consider him walking around with vials of animal blood on him.

Kald and the rest left for the chapterhouse. Their self-righteous and condeming behavior seemed to cool considerably and excuses began when Lord "Shinybritches" showed up. The Lord required that Bran's remains be covered. It was claimed by a few witnesses that rather than teleport Bran to the chapterhouse, his remains were then marched miles, slung unceremoniously over Thedran's shoulder. Also that Thedran made comments about desecrating the remains and placing Bran's head on a pike outside the chapterhouse.

The accounts of two witnesses then say his body was plundered, and dumped in a shallow grave without ceremony or care. One of the witnesses found the grave and accounted that it "required very little digging to pull him out". The other found the empty grave and stated that it was a "Shallow and careless hole".

For burring him in an unmarked grave in the forest to "hopefully be sure he is not found and brought back by his followers" they did not take care in it. The first to his grave said it was not difficult to follow them even without the shadows to veil her. They were loud and boastful, traveling in a large, well-armored group. The second said the clumsy tracks of the large group as much as pointed and arrow to the swallow grave.

Of these two witnesses, I am not sure I trust the testimony of the one, and the other is a second-hand account of the witness' testimony. While the account is from a person I trust... It is second hand and I have not been able to track the direct witness down. It is a pity... As this woman seems honorable in all accounts I have found of her.

I am sure that is not the whole story. It is hard to get at the real events as the story continues to change at this point. I believe it is as close to the truth as can be managed at this point.

A bunch of people... Married to their perception of reality. Bran himself is not excluded in this. He makes himself easy to hate and has committed so much to his perception of reality that he will eventually fall into the abyss for it.

I got back to digging at my Serb investigation, and finally struck dirt when someone admitted that they were not there when "Arkaine went berserk" but Derik Ranloss was. I trust Derik... He is one of the few people on the Coast I do trust to be fair and consistent about what he sees. He told me the account of Arkaine's attack on members of his own chapterhouse. He said Erza had brought Serb. He made no mention of Kald. Even Erza had brought him on honorable promise of safety to the Chapterhouse because Serb claimed to have information on the Enclave that might save lives.

Once a promise of safety for witness is given, in can only be honored. Even if you doubt the witness, and even if you disagree with the offer. The honrable thing to do would have been to dismiss him and admonish any further dealings with him. Again, it is a matter of honoring the word given, not because of who it was given to... But that it was given in the first place.
Seems that more than one member of the Radiant Heart had problems with this concept.
Of course, a paladin's zeal might justify many things to themselves.

On speaking to Derik, I can only deem the actions of Arkaine dishonorable. Derik saw to the release of Serb, who Derik then admitted tried to kill one of the Chapterhouse members that fought Arkaine to free him. Derik stopped this as well, sighting that he had seen to the upholding of honor here, but Serb was delivered from the chapterhouse and beyond his promise of safety. He instructed Serb to leave now, or expect that Derik himself would execute him.

These truths would likely destroy Bran... As Arkaine was one the only paladin on the coast for which he had any respect. He had refused to believe stories of Arkaine going berserk and attacking his own men... While I believe those accounts are over-dramatized... They are not wholly false.

=======================================================

She sighed and put down her pen for now. She stared up at the ceiling. Bran was by his own admission a fallen shaman. He would eventually do something indefensible...

But for now there was still hope for everyone but her. If she could just get them all to see. tears spilled out of the corners of her eyes as she stared upwards. She felt the hopelessness of this sinking into her chest. She had already encountered how set people were on hating Bran. He was set on hating them right back.

Here she was in the middle... She couldn't help feeling hated by everyone because she was the only one saying...

You're both wrong.

She at least wanted it to be true that when Bran was brought down for some fell deed that he actually deserved it. That seemed less... and less possible.

She should probably stop letting Derik or Huego associate themselves with her... For their own good... But the idea of being all alone again...

Back behind the glass...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OOC Note: I know some of the events are not wholly correct as described here. I had characters present for Serb and other events and have diligently upheld that Linela does not know what they know and cannot question my other characters. Therefore, I cannot "fix" her view of events without meta-gaming. I hope that can be respected that this is the truth as best as she can suss it out with appropriate RP.

_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


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 Post subject: Re: Linela Susan Fryar
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:38 am 
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I just have to stop him... To save him... Right?

When the idea came to me after all that I have been through of late I admit my mind went to all the darkest places. Fate has been cruel to me, so what was the worst it could ask of me? To make me kill Bran even as my reputation is destroyed for defending him... It's so blasted fitting to all the rest of my suffering.

But a night's rest does wonders... Maybe I can just -stop- him from doing anything truly evil. Stand in his way enough times. Talk to him. Talk to him like I never dared while we were together. I wanted our time to be his refuge, but now it is more important to be heard.

Since being murdered on the tradeway he had killed a tiefling that threatened to cut a person's tongue out. Twice actually. The second time she sought him. She continues to seek him and he has tried to find reasons not to keep killing her amidst this harassment. He killed a half-drow agent that meant to bring down the Halls of Inner Light, and the Radiant Heart. He beat a dwarf soundly who struck at him and Msciwoj first. When Msciwoj struck the healer that came to the aid of the fallen dwarf, Bran healed her and teleported Msciwoj away.

If anything, he was being almost heroic in his attempts not to hurt good people or fight unnecessarily. Dasha seemed intent on getting him into a fight every day.

His good side must be in there... Can I stop him from doing something truly sinister? Something that deserves being hunted for? Can I reach him and stop him short of actually battling him?

With the way people seem set to see villainy in his every move... Will it make a difference?

And poor Huego... He has seen the truth himself and has begun to speak up against the tide... What a curse I am to him. Why does he remain? I have told him that now... More than ever... I have no future for him. Yet there he is... Always smiling... Always listening and taking care of me. Gods only knows what he gets from all of this but suffering.

If there are any gods still listening... Help me... Help me please...

I never wanted any of this, but if I must... Please help me.

_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


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 Post subject: Re: Linela Susan Fryar
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:24 am 
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We all get the idea that we are in a constant battle. We are fighting before an audience of judgement and regret. We make sense of it. We excuse ourselves for the compromises we made along the way in the name of survival. If we are honest, we know it is a flimsy excuse.

Then one comes who does not compromise. One that clings to the hope for honesty and forgiveness. They crucify themselves upon their every minor sin while they hold out their hand to those that self righteously and indignantly stare. The masses look at the hand of grace extended in pure suspicion. No one can be that purely loving. No one can truly promise, "No matter what you've done. I will love you."

It is too shocking to look into the mirror and suddenly feel ugly and small by comparison. No one can stare into the sun and not go blind from the light. We rationalize it is a trick, that the person cannot be so blindingly great, so unequally devoted. We tell ourselves it is an illusion and a cruel one. We hate them and await our excuses afterward. We watch with devious intent, looking for even the most weak vindication.

And right we are to doubt, for that person is only human. They can't make good on the perfection that others think they see. We've all missed that the reality is so much more brilliantly beautiful than any imagined perfection. She's made her own condemning mistakes... But she knows it, and in forgiving herself can extend that grace to others. She knows she is not perfect. She knows she is far from deserving the mantle of perfection placed upon her shoulders. She wants others to know it, and know that while they look disproving at their own reflections in her presence, all she sees is beauty.

We are but stumbling children. In our clumsy steps we occasionally collide. For some reason we learn to believe that someone had to be at fault. Someone had to pay, and that a certain number of mis-steps made us irredeemable. As she looks on... A child... She sees children... And who can think a child beyond redemption?

Linela sat and reflected on her relationship with Bran. The ache in her heart that still plainly loved him spoke of her deep regret of not being enough... She'd not had the words, the wisdom, to reach him and likely only added to his misery. Even now as she fought the rumors the hate the swelled up against him, she didn't dare to see him. She didn't dare to look into his sad eyes and see how much further he had fallen.

Her hand flew over a dozen new songs of forgiveness and grace. She reached for him the only way she knew how even as she doubted her songs would ever reach his ears. In the depths of her soul she wanted his redemption. She wanted to she the light in his eyes the demon had showed her as Verenestra. She wanted to see him rise again, a beacon of hope. An imperfect, perfect light. She had no further desire to be his woman but she had no intent to let him face it all alone.

She she held on to the hope that she could stop him from going to far. She held on to the hope that he could yet be saved. She held on to him, even as she tried to move on with Huego. She loved Huego and yet, she did not dare to love him fully. The deep scars in her heart told her that at the end of this story... She dies alone.


_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


Last edited by Tiberis79 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Linela Susan Fryar
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:32 am 
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Her past few days with Huego had been a whirlwind. Now she sat, with her hand in his, talking to Emrys about their situation. She could have explained the spans of time been then and now but the simple matter was...

She was looking into Huego's eyes, and she was starting to believe. Why would you attempt to put a linear set of events to a miracle? Parts of her screamed not to be fooled again by fate, but for now... She let herself hope.

_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


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 Post subject: Re: Linela Susan Fryar
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:25 am 
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Time seemed to speed up of late. She finally had a moment to sit and consider the past days.
Huego confessed he believed he'd been having nightmares that he could not remember. His sleep at her side was not restful. Desperate to know if the problem was her, she turned to an old friend; Emrys Kerr.

At first she tried not to tell him much, just that they suspected Huego's dreams were entered by a demon. As the conversation wore on, it was clear she was not going to be able to dance around his keen mind. She had always loved that about Emrys, their conversations had always been ripe with theory, lore, and philosophy. That night, however, it was a thorn in her shoe.

Finally Huego whispered to her that they were not being very successful with this and that if Emrys kept digging around he would find out anyway. She swallowed hard, and asked Emrys to have a seat.

"You're sure?" She whispered to Huego, "If he turns me in, you'll hang too."

Huego nodded his agreement and they told Emrys everything, right down the the ritual of grace. Emrys took it all in, and they modified their plans. Emrys would consecrate her home, to protect Linela from another visit, at least for this one night. Huego would sleep at the Friend Arm to see if sleeping away from her helped.

He left to make his arrangements. Emrys sat and talked to her a bit more attempting to console her, telling her of ways to free herself. Ways he'd heard of working himself. He offered to stay in the house or close by in case the consecration failed to keep the demon away from her for the night.

Linela knew... Even if it worked, it would not work forever. It would not undo her pact, but even a day of freedom and one restful night was worth the eventual fallout with her master.

Huego stopped by again and Linela was honest about Emrys staying. The look on Huego's face, and the tension in his shoulders was telling. She didn't know why, but she found it... Adorable.

He said something to Emrys and then walked over to her. Huego pulled her tightly against him and kisses her darn near forcefully. She let out a light squeak at the sudden ferocity, and then couldn't help melting against him. He let go of her and nodded over his shoulder to Emrys before saying, "Goodnight, love of my life... One I would do -anything- to protect."

And he left. She was left a bit stunned at his behavior. Emrys only smiled and made a comment about him acting like any man properly jealous of a man like Emrys spending the night with the girl that jealous man fancied. Linela's smile was unbridled. She had never thought she'd be happy about a man being jealous. The fact remained that Huego clearly was, and had still trusted her enough to leave...

Gods, it was the sexiest thing he'd ever done. As for Emrys... She smiled at him and said, "You are a big softy. He's nothing to fear."

"Think so, sprite?" He asked with a bit of a smile.

"I know so," She said with a single firm nod, and she went to bed.

Emrys was a perfect gentleman, and left as soon as Linela was awake and about her business for the day.

Huego returned bright and early. She was doing some dishes and he slipped a white gold and canary diamond necklace around her neck. She was concerned at first. She wondered if this was some kind of attempt to buy her affection. He assured her this was not the case then laid an extremely cheesy line on her. She'd heard enough easy one-liners in her time so she called his bluff.

He stood before her, as she sat on the counter and locked his eyes on hers. He poured his bardic talent in to a flowing speech, that wouldn't have been near as impressive except that he meant it. She sat stunned a moment, trying to regain the high ground. She found it again, but she had to admit, as he looked away... She stared at him a moment longer than she should have.

Days of dancing and laughing, and more promises found them outside the eflsong as the minstrel played. She taught him a new dance move where he lifted her up above his head and brought her back down slowly. Except that as he brought her down into his arms slowly, the rain began as if on cue.

She didn't move back to the proper dance hold distance and he clearly did not mind. At first they kept dancing and she stomped her feet into the puddles that were forming. Then they swayed in the rain and as the water rolled over the brim of his hat he smile so gently. He said he needed to ask her something, and they made their way home.

Home with tea brewing he asked her directly about Bran, and where he fit between them. Something inside her panicked. She was just starting to believe and he wanted to know this now? How would he react? The words poured desperately from her lips, and all of them absolutely true. She watched helplessly, expecting that this was it. This was the end.

Instead he only spoke softly to her. Professing that he would take any span of time that she could give him. When she tried to call him on it... When she pressed him that he wouldn't know what to do with himself when they defeated the demon, he smiled.

"Then we will grow old together," He said so plainly, "Get rocking chairs on a front porch and raise little bards. We'll get you that little house you wanted."

She closed her eyes to the sweet dreams she wanted so badly to believe in, "When we beat it and your promises of forever are suddenly too real I won't hold you to them."

And I will forgive myself for believing them...


_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:19 pm 
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"Bran and Msciwoj?" She asked Mill curiously, "I am sorry... Was that not how you refered to them before?"

"I'm not refering them as my kin anymore," Mill stated plainly.

"I see," She said with the slightest hint of saddness in her eyes.

"They attacked unarmed women," Mill explained, "Dove, I've seen it with my own eyes."

"The reports I have heard on this were that Msciwoj was in a rage," Linela said gently, "He would have struck anyone, even Bran, after the Dwarf charged him.... I heard that Bran restrained him, and healed the woman... And that he later saught her to atone even though he did not strike her."

Tamizim appeared then glancing around briefly before taking a seat on the ground. Mill grunted, "Do you know how rashemi called a poeple with cant control their rage? Nudeshka. Its means "blunt sword" usally its death sentence at Rashemen."

"I see," She tried to be diplomatic and gentle in her probing, "But you condem Bran as well?"
"Bran sold his soul to dark spirits," Mill spat.

She skipped over how it was that so many knew that suddenly and asked, "Do you know why?"

Tamzim studied Linela curiously. Based on the things she'd heard of him, this made her rather uneasy. She kept her attention on her friend, Mill. There was no accusation in her voice. If her tone could be described it was calm and patiently curious. One could even call her tone forgiving.

"Ofcourse," Mill said with self-assurance, "Same as durthans, lust for power."

"You are wrong," Linela shook her head, "But it is not mine to tell. Perhaps you should ask him?"

"I asked," Mill said with a snort, "I got no answer."

She smiled warmly to Mill and offered him an alternate answer, "Maybe he wished to spare you his pain."

"Yer still defending this filth?" Tamzim broke in and looked to Linela curiously.

"As I readily as I defend anyone, Tamzim," She said kurtly.

"Those two doesnt use their brains at all," Mill said in his broken common, "They are ruining rashemen Reputation here. Thayans thrying to convince a world - they just fighting a bunch of savages at their border. And those two haleping them a lot!"

"Shouldn't defend him, simply as, or else you simply ruin your reputation as well," Tamzim warned, "Siding with a blood mage.. "

Tamzim grunted at her, shaking his head. Mill continued over him, "The word rashemi - its a synonim of brutal savage here. Thanks to those two."

Linela saw her battle was already lost so she tried to sooth him, "I understand it must be hard to represent your culture in the face of contention."

"Well, people know you," Cylissa added, "They know there are exceptions. Or rather, those two are the exception?"

"Yes, but when they saying "rashemi" they deoesnt mean me!" Mill said with apparent frustration, "They refering to those two."

Linela honed in on Tamzim. Dimitry was also there and could never resist being a know it all. She primed the gears, "How much research have you done on shamanistic traditions and blood magic?"

"Enough to know its vile and anyone practising it should die," Tamzim shrugged, "And ensure they do not return"

"See a problem?" Mill broke in, "You need to see a mindless bloodthirsty savage to call it rashemi. Thats a problem."

"That must be frustrating, Mill," Lin tried to empathize, "For what it is worth I think you are a marvelous ambasador and I really look forward to seeing Rashemen one day because of you."

No illucidation from Dimitry as she had hoped to bait. Her hands flexed, picking at her skirts and she only offered to Tamzim, "I encourage you to do more research, Tamzim."

"I dont need to, enough people agree'd he needs to die," Tamzim said, "Thats all that matters, wheel in the motion so to speak."

"I will never," Linela began to lose her cool, "Ever... yeild to the insanity of mob mentality."

Finally Dimitry offered what she could not without playing into Tamzim's hand, "Blood Magic is not -inherently- evil , its applications are , often enough , though."

Tamzim ignored him, sensing Linela's tension, "No, you would simply stand aside and let a blood mage run amock. If only more people were like you, miss Linela"

His tone was cold and mocking. She saw it for the bait it was. Instead of wrath she canted her head looking a bit wounded, "Is there some reason you are attacking me? I have not even risen my voice. Mill and I are friends."

"That is the only reason to think less of someoen in your opinion?" Tamzim spat, unrelenting,
"If they raise their voice?" You stand by a beast! You try and convince others to.. not hunt this creature"

"What has Bran done, that he needs hunting for?" Huego interrupted, coming to Linela's aid, "Not what -is- he, what has he -done-?"

"Murdered me, murdered Dasha, almost murdered Gren, Dove," Cylissa offered coldly, "Many others. And the only reason for that is that he can't control his rage."

"Anyone who associates or defends blood magic deserves no less," Tamzim fired back at Huego.

"Dasha threatened to cut someon's tongue out," Huego said back to Cylissa, "I feel no sympathy there. Bran did not touch Dove. He healed her, and Gren attacked first."

Linela looked at Cylissa cooly and added, "Ah... So when he murdered you it wasn't because you and Dasha hunted him down and all but demanded a duel? It wasn't because you -wanted- to fight?"

Then Cylissa simply stopped talking about it to Lin. Lin assumed she'd found herself in a crowd with too much information for the blatant lies her precious Dasha had been spreading. Then as if on cue, Dasha appeared. Lin noted that the number of the people at the fire that would like to see her discredited was growing quickly. She stopped talking and watched a few moments. Seeing that this could quickly become violent she stood.

I will not play their game. Tamzim wishes to stir things up to discredit me. Getting into a fight with Dasha would certainly help that.

She looked at the shifty little man with disgust and then turned to addressed Mill, "Excuse me... Mill, you are always welcome to stop by the house for an ale. Fair day to you all."

She gave Tamzim a minor warning. With her eyes away from the rest of the fire, her amber gaze settled on him and his nearby "friends" as she said, "And I, for one, am loath to believe the words of people so often rumored to consort with drow."

His kind like easy prey. She hoped she made it apparent in this conversation and her closing remark that she was far from easy prey. Still... It bothered her as she left the fire. His behavior picked at the back of her mind... What was he really playing at?

She looked at her armor at home... She needed to find more time to train and people who would train with her without condemning her.

Image

_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


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 Post subject: Re: Linela Susan Fryar
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 6:18 am 
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He left when he thought I was asleep... But I never sleep these days. I don't like to be alone either... That's when the demon finds me. That's when it whispers in my ears at best, and tortures me at worst.

So I went out into the town and I sat where I could be seen. No one stopped to talk. My reputation because of my open defense of Bran was suffering. People wanted their hate. They wanted their witch hunt. He was dressed in black and willing to oblige a fight, and so he was the bad guy.

Tamzim was sitting by the fire. He started in on me, saying I had cost him a friend with my little comment. I told him that if he wants to stir the pot against me and those I wish to protect he should consider himself engaged. I would bring myself to bare against him.

He said he only wanted to live, and that Bran took exception to that. He was defending himself and had his plan in motion. I... Needed to get out of the way. Because if I didn't...

It was bait... All of it. He wanted to know if I had any concrete evidence of him consorting with drow. I wasn't giving it to him. However... He had information about the story with Serb, and he liked to get paid. I tantalized him with my own notebook on the topic. It wasn't the notes I had on Tamzim, but it would show him how I gather information and how my mind works. Both would be gold to someone who finds me so often in the way.

Then a prick of guilt, and disgust at myself. Huego was sitting beside me... Mill a few feet away... I don't make deals with slime. I always stand up for the truth, for facts, for forgiveness and atonement. Here I was.

Had I fallen that low? I tossed my notebook to him... There would be no deal and I would not act like I was afraid of anything he could do to me. Everything I had ever learned, I learned honestly. I never hid in shadow, I never paid anyone to gather for me. I never peeked at anyone's private files.

And everything I did... I did for love.

I slid in by Huego and Mill... I must have looked so dopey staring at the two of them in awe. They'd been my own conscience, my angels, without saying a word. I held Huego's hand and wait...


"Some folk hide that they are warlocks," Her mind twitched back to that statement.

Did Tamzim know?

Suddenly her stomach twisted, her vision went a little blurry. She couldn't love Huego, she couldn't defend Bran if it got out that she was a warlock. Nothing she said would matter. No kindness she ever did would apply. She was a warlock... Kill on sight.

Tamzim was muttering and marking her notebook. He seemed impressed, and offered her a job. Her skin crawled.

"You've worked to hard on this," Tamzim said holding up the notebook, "To just let it go."

It was true... It was an obsession. She was sure the key to saving Bran was somewhere in that broken history. She was an avid reader however, and too many stories existed on how an obsession killed otherwise worthy people. However, she needed a gauge on what Tamzim's plan was that he was speaking of and what he might have on her.

She got up for a walk. It was an obvious move but she had left the fire in a huff before. She hoped Tamzim would be a little less obvious about leaving. Somehow, he ended up on the path ahead of her instead of behind. He came too quickly and Huego was smart. She knew Huego could cast invisibility, she thought about casting see the unseen, but if Tamzim had no evidence she was a warlock she was not about to got casting warlock spells around him.

If Huego came, she would explain. If he sent for her, she would be honest. If he did neither, she would tell him what happened afterwards and why she did it anyway. There was no more hiding from him. No more secrets, but she couldn't go announcing to a fire full of people, "Hey, I'm running off to meet with this shady character."

If people found out... If she hung for being a warlock, there was a high possibility of Huego hanging too. She was there as much for him as anyone else.

Tamzim led her to a cave. Now she needed to start the conversation. He was here to talk about Bran and Serb. Sincerely impressed by her information, and intrigued by what she might have on him. Those were her cards, and she fed him small pieces, and prodded him occasionally with insults to keep him thinking he had her figured out. She kept the tone to what he expected. Gave him the performance he came to see.

In the end he told her everything. Gave up his story on Serb. He had a few details she did not, but one struck her... It was the key to everything, but.

She found it too late.

It wasn't Serb. It wasn't the torture. Gods... All this time it had been in front of her as she fell down this rabbit hole. Tamzim seemed intrigued by her sudden distress, but she was not about to give him Bran's true weakness.

Then he told her, he only wanted to save his own skin. He'd leave Bran alone, and he had no real intent to harm her. He just wanted to be left alone and he would leave them alone. He admitted, however, that it might not be up to him. A group of people had already taken their accusations against Bran to Luke Darius... And from there it was likely to go to the Dukes, probably inside of a week.

That was as solid a punch to the gut as any. The wind went out of her. A week? A week before the manhunt began... A mockery of a trial would surely follow and then... Bran hangs.

She looked at the water, a dark pool in a dark cave. If Tamzim knew... Hells, if she even tried to defend Bran's blood magic before the ducal court, she would hang too... Huego... What were the chances that they would believe he didn't know? It was a domino of hangings. A cascade of death.

She told Tamzim that she would tell Bran, and that she would ask him not to hunt Tamzim. She'd not work with Tamzim, and she knew Bran had no desire to. Avoidance might not be off the table however... Maybe... Just maybe he cared enough about her to give her that much. She couldn't guarantee that. She did leave him for another man, hadn't spoken to Bran in weeks.

She planted that seed... She hoped it would grow. A little separation via rumor, might serve them well.

That's when Tamzim said that before he went he wanted to know if the other person present in the cave was with her. Huego had, indeed shown up and made himself known to her. Huego took his cue to make himself known and let the invisibility fade.

As for Tamzim... She made no mention of the hand he tipped on the way to the cave. The lie she knew he told, nor how she knew it was a lie. She gave him his pretend security thinking he had bought her trust and cleared his name to her. What she couldn't hide were the tears welling in her eyes. Those... She barely kept from falling. Once Tamzim was gone she hit her knees. That was it really. It was over.

At best she could delay the inevitable. They would come for Bran... Then, at best, she'd just drop dead. At worst, they strung her up with him and Huego and they all hung together. Huego tried to hold her and she shoved him away. Dear gods! Did the man not have any sense? She was a death sentence to him.

She argued. He tried to sooth. She argued more. He continued to try to comfort her. She told him to leave her. He refused. She howled at him, "I'll change the locks!"

"Change the locks," He said, leveling his gaze on her in the sort of deep, manly tone that melted knees, "Go ahead, See if it stops me."

That would take that wind out of any woman. She wondered if he knew what he did to her when he said things like that. She stammered over herself, "Then I'll move! I'll run away!"

"I'll find you," He said with a sort of confidence that left no question and stepped back toward her, "The only way I will leave you is if I believe you really want me to go."

"I just told you to go!" She snapped back at him, "Just now!"

"I am not convinced," He stepped up, toe to toe with her and looked down into her large, amber-brown eyes.

Breathe... She couldn't breathe when he looked at her like that...

Dear gods...



She ended up back in his arms... They ended up back home. When he left in the morning, she let herself cry again, and she sent for Bran.

_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


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 Post subject: Re: Linela Susan Fryar
Unread postPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 4:56 am 
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"Be right there," Bran's voice vibrated through her mind in the sending.

He didn't bother knocking. He could hear the tears in her voice. She looked over to the sound of the door. Her eyes were a bit puffy from crying. He closed the door, frowning briefly, his gaze regretful. She wiped her cheek lightly.

"What did you need, beloved," His voice was always a little much for her, "I came as soon as I was able."

His words were kept as neutral as he could managed, but he still was a poor liar. He still called her "beloved", and the significance of that was far from lost on her. She blinked lightly at the term and blushed forcing herself to speak, "I... I don't think I can stop them this time."

"Stop whom?" He asked softly.

"Some that believe they have enough of a case to take to the Dukes," She answered as her eyes threatened to let loose more tears, "They have supposedly already petitioned "lord" Darius."

"I near forgot he was a lord now," Bran grunted, "Thank you for the early warning then I suppose. I will start moving my wealth elsewhere."

"I can stall them," She added frantically, "Maybe... Maybe make a case?"

He shook his head, "Don't waste your breath on the matter, beloved. It was about time I repaid the fist in full, for all they did."

She told him how Tamzim might be willing to help delay. At the very least, he might stay out of it. Bran seemed agered at the very idea of it. Lin started to reason with him, but it seemed something else was on his mind. Linela finally offered the last card, "He knows I am a warlock, Bran."

Suddenly, Bran's demeanor changed from flat refusal to diplomacy, "I will send for him. Perhaps he will barter."

She placed a hand over his as he reached for his sending amulet. He stilled for a moment, before slowly retrieving his own hand to his side. He looked down into her eyes and listened as she told him her fears that the Dukes would come for him and come for Msciwoj and that there was nothing she could do but maybe give them some time. Ultimately...

"I am sure they will make some spectacle of a trial, but you are guilty of blood magic," She said it firmly, "Be-Bran... Regardless of it's source tradition. The Duke's law does not recognise the difference."

"It would be so very simple to... lie," He said with defeat, "To deny it. I would even take some pleasure in a speech pointing out all that were wrong with the trial, but I am too tired to bother, beloved. I am too tired to bother with any of it."

She lowered her eyes, tearing up again, "Then run... Please just run away and be safe... Let me stay and fight... I have enough ears. I may sway them with time."

Where could he run?

Anywhere.

He wanted it to end...

Don't say that!

The final part. She told him about Verenestra turning out to be a demon. He told her it would be okay, and that there were others who had escaped such binding. She told him that progress was slow and she didn't care about herself any more.

"You may be tired of it all, beloved, but know this," His deep voice passed through to her bones, "You do not walk towards a peaceful rest while bound."

Did he really think she didn't know that. Her Tears never seemed to be exhausted. She trembled as she spoke, "Why can't you let me save you? Just once..."

He told her she needed to focus on saving herself and they continued to argue. Finally there was only one card she had left to sway him. She reminded him of the terms of her pact. He dies... She dies...

There was silence for a long moment, "I will not break my chains for you. But I will stay alive for as long as I possibly can, so that you may end your word to this mistress you've found. I swear to you, upon my unbroken word, that I will not die, for as long as it remains my choice to live or no. Not until you are free of your chains."

She looked away and then looked back up to him, "It's not "I will try to be redeemed, Linela." but it is a start... I will take your word."

"All is woe and life is ash and dust," He grumbled, "I wonder how no Sharan came for me yet, in my gloomy final years. They are not doing their job well it seems."

"Because even Shar knows that there is still to much good in you," She said softly, "Don't expect that I will stop trying... I will not give up on you until you are claimed... Maybe not even then. But I will... take survival for now..."

His voice and his words became stern. Hers was soft, forgiving an kind, which only seemed to further anger him. He called her a fool, and she was one. She would not deny it. She begged him to forgive himself, and he growled at her in his self-loathing.

I've done the unforgivable.

There is no such thing.

I have not paid for all that is so easily forgotten.

You already pay... You pay in every moment you remember them...

Moments of silence ran out between them. The scene was a old one that resonated with honesty in its simplicity. A man and a woman whose affinity for each other was undeniable. Each of them trying to save the other. Each of them tearing the other apart.

"One man cannot pay for so much," She soothed, "That is why grace exists in the first place."

"Stop being so blind!" He growled at her, "In my zeal and self-righteous ignorance I've judged mere briggands to torment beyond words. And if you not care for those forgotten ones... Look at yourself. Look what I've done to you. And what I've done to my kin!"

Did he really think she or Msciwoj wanted him to suffer? Her soft gaze fell on him as she pressed down her own instinct to growl back at him and box his ever-loving ears, "So save us Bran... Save Msciwoj and I by saving yourself. I place no blame at your feet... And I am a blind... idealistic little girl at times. But... If all you believe is true then no one makes it out of the abyss... Ever. We are all doomed and all unforgivable."

"Beloved," He said darkly, "If I were asked for judgement, I would let you fall into the abyss with me."

She nodded as she expected he would say that, "I know..."

"Then why do you still waste away on my behalf?" He roared, "You've love in another, and ways of freeing yourself! What horrors must I do so that you finally see me for the withered husk I am!"

They argued on... Until he had enough. His expression grew dark as he gathered the empasis behind his next words. Even his shadow seemed to darken as he did. His tone left no questions and gave her no quarter, "You will abandon me, beloved. You will no longer shield me or defend me, or waste sleep over me. Fail to let me go and I will slay your beloved. I will tear his soul asunder and scatter it to the Four Winds of Death."

With those words, as hard as he could manage them he turned and walked away. She was left in stunned silence.

_________________
Lannia Tannen - The Spirit Who Walks
Kessa Gren - Kessandria "Trouble" Greenwood of the High Forest.
Linela Fyar - Fey Bard.
Marie Greaves - The Goodnight Kiss.
Suna - Nameless spear maiden of the Ghost Tree tribe, hopeful spirit walker.


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